Strengths: Taming Dwagons, Heaving Lightning, Rocking Out, Cracking Things
Weaknesses: Inconspicuousness, Clarity of Purpose, Personal Taste in Friends
Known properties include:
- Taming and control of dwagonsErf-b1-p031Erf-b1-p079
- Controlling lightning.Erf-b1-p113 It is extremely accurate. Stanley has only ever missed against Jillian.
- Transporting roughly every one in fifth walnut or bird hit with it with a pigeon or walnut respectively. Erf-b1-p004Erf-b1-p114Erf-b1-p037
- Hitting a dwagon pacifies it, knocking it out for remainder of turnErf-b1.5-p007
- Allows the user to Rock Out.Erf-b1.5-p035
- Making things disappear (not on command). Erf-b2-pT44
- An "artifact bonus" to units (or possibly only dwagons) in a stack.Erf-b1-p113
It should be noted that some of the pigeons thus created turn back into walnuts after being croaked (or once cooked, or perhaps simply contain walnuts somewhere inside) [or this could be evidence that the pigeons were teleported away, replaced by walnuts).Erf-b1-p037 The exact effects of this tool striking living things are mostly unknown. So far in the comic, one Orly has been struck with the Arkenhammer in combat; it turned into a walnut.Erf-b1-p114
The hammer may have opened up the ability to pop dwagons at Gobwin Knob; thus far, the only city whose poppable units have been made clear have been Gobwin Knob and Gobwin Knob clones (made by razing and rebuilding conquered cities). Normal cities may have no new unit poppable at level 3.
The hammer has what appears to be a whistle moulded into its handle.Erf-b1-p32 This feature has never been used or even mentioned in the comic.
Associated Discipline Debate
- This section describes an aspect of Erfworld that is under debate. Please be considerate when posting here, and check the edit history to ensure you are not trampling on someone else's opinions.
- The newest information provided by the comic indicates that Wanda Firebaugh believes the Arkenhammer contains a number of varied Magic disciplines. This idea had been posited previously but gained little following due to the belief that the various Arkentools operated on the same principles. Below are the many theories posited by the Wiki members.
It currently appears that the Arkendish provides "unmatched" Thinkamancy and the Arkenpliers provide unequalled Croakamancy; thus, many readers feel that there is an associated magic Discipline for the Arkenhammer.
Stanley, a Warlord who cannot cast spells, uses an electrical effect to take down a Chief Warlord (Caesar Borgata) and his entire stack, emerging entirely unscathed from the engagement. This effect appears to be powerful enough to compare to the associated Disciplines of the other two Arkentools. The question, then, is which Discipline does this effect belong to?
Since Thinkamancy and Croakamancy are Fate Axis Disciplines-aligned, some readers feel that all associated Disciplines should be Fate aligned. Fate magic being the determining factor in attunement reinforces this belief.
The case for Shockmancy
The first case for Shockmancy compares the electrical effect's resultsErf-b1-p113 to that of the known Shockmancy resultErf-b1-p126. The two results are similar, suggesting they come from the same Discipline.
The third case is the fact that the 'hammer can be used to render unconscious and thus "pacify" dwagons, which might fit "shockmancy" if it's defined in relation to the idea of "mental" shocks, electro-shock treatment, or neurological effects (synaptic relays).
The case against: Shockmancy is Erf-aligned, not Fate-aligned. Some readers feel that the visual, magic word, & thematic elements of the Scroll spell and the Van Der Graff hammer effect are different enough that they are different Disciplines. The other powers of the 'hammer would indicate the 'hammer is not exclusive to Shockmancy, even if it is dominated by it. (This would contrast with the seeming uniformity of the other tools' powers - unless the Arkendish covers Foolamancy as well as Thinkamancy.)
The Case for Hippiemancy (or Signamancy)
Taming Dwagons is probably the most important function the Arkenhammer has yet displayed. Dwagons struck by the Arkenhammer become loyal to the person who has tamed them. The fact that this Tool can create a new relationship between the Dwagon and the person attuned to the Arkenhammer might imply that its powers are related to Date-a-mancy. Another power this Tool has displayed is the ability to seemly transform walnuts into birds and birds into walnuts. Walnuts are a form of plant, suggesting that this power might be related to Flower Power. The Arkenhammer also allows its user to Rock Out. Rock music has a signamancy related to hippies, suggesting this Tool uses signamancy to give its user a talent associated with hippies. It may also be relevant that Janis shares her name with Janis Joplin, a Stupidworld rock musician whose performances were said to be "electric".
The case for Carnymancy
Carnymancy has not yet been defined, but is aligned with fate and is probably defined by either the term "Carny" or "Carnival".
The first case suggests that since electrical shows have been included in carnivals, an electrical effect is Carnymancy.
The second case looks at the Arkenhammer itself. The 'hammer has the appearance of a squeaky toy hammer, which can be a prize given by Carnies at a carnival. Hammers are also featured prominently in the form of the carnival game that tests one strength by striking a mallet to make a bell ring.
The 'flight' attributed to the hammer seems to be levitation - having only been used to raise straight up, both in actual use and in foolamancy cover - sideshow magicians would often create the illusion of levitation.
Changing pigeons to walnuts is reminiscent of making things appear, disappear, and trade places - classic small-scale magic. Pigeons were often used in such tricks, and walnuts are sometimes used in "shell games," another simple deception. It may be worth noting that "pigeon" is a term for a victim of a carny-style con like the "shell game."
It is worth noting that Stanley, the hammer's attuned user, thinks of the hammer's abilites in terms of being 'tricks,' and asks Wanda if her Tool can also do tricks. If there is one Discipline that would cover "tricks" (as in novelty abilities done for a show), it's Carnymancy.
The case against: choosing a Discipline based on the appearance of the hammer itself is inconsistent with the association by effect of the 'pliers, though arguably the 'dish's form could be related to the communication aspects of Thinkamancy. Further, some believe this creates too broad a definition for Carnymancy, encompassing powers belonging to numerous other magical disciplines. It should be noted, however, that Stagemancy does cover all three axes (Life, Motion and Matter) so having smaller, limited mixtures of other disciplines' abilities would make some sense.
The case for Changemancy
Changemancy has not yet been defined, but is aligned with fate and is probably defined by an effect of changing one thing into another.
Since the Arkenhammer changes birds into walnuts and vice versa, it does have an effect that associates with Changemancy.
The flight affect of the 'hammer may be from a change of the Type of the wielder to Flying.
In the Magic Kingdom, speculation exists that the Arkenpliers extend Croakamancy to the Life Axis. If the Arkendish also extends Thinkamancy to the Matter axis then the Arkenhammer might extend Signamancy to the Motion axis (thus, all three tools would extend a two-axis form of fate magic to all three axes -- though it is unclear what role carnymancy, the standard three-axis fate magic, would play in this scheme). If Signamancy is about the meanings, symbols and conventions attached to an underlying reality then this is consistent with Stanley's campaign to radically change Erfworld, proclaim royalty obsolete, and have a world ruled by only one side. This might have implications for Parson as an alleged hippiemancer.
Real World References
It was pointed out that a company named Stanley manufactures hand tools.
Thor, the god of storms (could create thunder and lightning) from Norse mythology, owned a hammer named Mjolnir.
Some editions of the (Advanced) Dungeons and Dragons game have included a magical hammer known as the Maul of the Titans ... its powers have been known to change between editions.
The Arkenhammer bears a striking resemblance to a real world noise-maker hammer, typically found at sporting events or parties. i.e. at Plastic Toy Hammer 2